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Automotive plastics lightweighting and environmental trend drivers

from By Don Rosato

Auto-makers choose plastic parts for a multiplicity of performance features. Important characteristics include durability, chemical resistance, mechanical toughness, coloring and finishing ease, elasticity and light weight. These automotive advances are driving the use of higher-end plastics under the hood, as well as the development of new plastics and coatings in new under-the-hood environments. On a volume basis, more plastics than steel are now used in today's cars for a wide range of components. Overall, growth in automotive plastics use has progressed from a typical 60 pounds per vehicle in 1970 to more than 400 pounds today. more

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